MTA members win NEA Foundation grants

MTA members in Natick and Belmont are the recipients of $5,000 Student Achievement grants from the NEA Foundation.

Jill Conroy and Kathleen Browne of Natick Public Schools will use their grant to explore impact of pollution on local water supply.Through this project, environmental studies students will expand their knowledge of biotechnology techniques by collecting, testing, and analyzing samples from local water sources.  Working with the town water and conservation commissions, students will determine more environmentally safe clean-up methods and learn measures to prevent pollutants from entering the water supply.

The grant awarded to Melissa Latham and Rebecca El-Gamel of Belmont High School will purchase Rosetta Stone software to expand the opportunities for students to study German, a course not regularly offered to students. The software will be used to support the teaching and learning of German to independent studies students as well as ESL students in their school.

The NEA Foundation awards two primary categories of grants to public education professionals: Student Achievement Grants for initiatives to improve the academic achievement, and Learning & Leadership Grants for high-quality professional development activities. Nationwide, the NEA Foundation has awarded 57 grants totaling $252,000 to support educators’ efforts to improve teaching and learning. Since 1999, the NEA Foundation has funded 50 grants for Massachusetts educators. The latest grants were awarded to educators in 33 different states. 

“With support from the NEA Foundation, public school educators in schools nationwide are finding new ways to increase student engagement in learning and are sharing new approaches to instructional practice with their peers,” said Harriet Sanford, president and CEO of the NEA Foundation.  “Our most recent grantees will use these funds on a wide range of projects: from studying brained-based teaching strategies to instructing students how to create multi-media life stories through photography, poetry, and rap.”

Since 1999, the NEA Foundation has awarded more than $7.5 million in grants to educators in every state in the country.  The Foundation awards its grants to educators three times a year.  The deadline for the next review period is Feb 1, 2011.  Descriptions of current and past recipients, online application forms, and an instructional video can be found at

The NEA Foundation is an independent, public charity supported by contributions from educators, corporate sponsors, and others.  We partner with education unions, districts, and communities to create powerful, sustainable improvements in teaching and learning. Visit for more information.